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Peter, wise of you to reply to John via your blog. NOW we'll see if he's reading it on a regular basis! :-) I, too, get many emails of this kind... of all those I've answered, helped out, etc. only ONE person has deigned to reply with a thank you.

Peter Davidson

Michele, Now you know why I didn't link to him. He would find that in Technorati not by reading my blog.

johnmoore (from Brand Autopsy))

Great post Peter … you are dead-on.

I too didn’t appreciate the fact that the version sent to me was still a draft version. I also didn’t appreciate the PDF being over 120 pages.

My advice for business book authors pitching their books to bloggers is to send us a “bite-size chunk” and not the whole “kit and caboodle.” Consider sending us a PDF of the most compelling chapter in the book. Or send us a summary document like a whiz-bang manifesto or a white paper. Send us something that outlines the book’s premise in such a way that is short and compelling. Heck, the shorter and more compelling it is … the greater the likelihood I’ll either post about or get viral with it.

One more idea … email us to get our name/address and mail us out a galley to read. Just don’t send us the whole thing in a PDF draft version.

Steven Streight aka Vaspers the Grate

I think you were right to post the stupid message and to patiently, point by point, explain what was wrong with it.

I've seen people post almost nothing but, "Very interesting. I have an article on this subject on my blog, you ought to check it out, (etc.)"

The only reason they post on blogs is to drive traffic to their blogs.

But sometimes people, new bloggers especially, need to have things spelled out.

What you describe is basically UCE, spam isn't it?

I don't believe these people are former Microsoft executives. They sound too amateur to me. Very very amateur.

Not interested in their marketing book when they can't even market the marketing book itself.

What a joke!

Evelyn Rodriguez

They really are former MS marketeers and now venture capitalits. I applaud Peter for being so straightforward as it will help a lot of folks on their pitches to bloggers - you'd be amazed but there are even worse pitches. These kind of pitches just come across screaming: It's all about me and what YOU can do for my company/book/etc instead of vice versa. (To be fair, John's message to me was more personalized than one Peter received.)

What you are witnessing is the transition from the ingrained-broadcast-style-marketing to cluetrain-lets-chat-relationship marketing. Steven is surprised that they work at Microsoft - but the tech industry is the worst for this kind of depersonalized one-way messaging. We here blogging away are still in the minority folks. I have had to educate VPs and PR agencies alike on the values of the blogosphere. It takes a lot of time but they're not untrainable.

I'm a hard one to pitch to. If I have a prior relationship with you - i.e. you've emailed/commented long before and we've built a rapport, or we've met - and it fits with my blog, I'm more likely to mention your stuff WITHOUT you even asking. That said, thus far I have NEVER mentioned anything (yet) that was pitched to me.


I got that too, although my reaction was more apathy then anything else. New bloggers do a lot of the same things, which aggravates me. They send out messages to a few bloggers hoping to get links. I won't link to anyone who doesn't have at least several weeks of regular posting because too many blogs die out early. The best way to drive traffic to your blog, in my opinion, is to comment on lots of other blogs. But don't make cheesy comments just for the sake of commenting. Make insightful remarks and other people will see them and think there may be more good stuff at your blog so they will click through to it.

It's ironic that while technology allows us to mass customize more and more, we still pick up on attempts to mass customize and realize it is impersonal. It reminds me of those direct mail pieces that have a computer generated cursive font that is supposed to look like handwriting but doesn't really.

Darrin Dickey

"Do you think it's somehow more special and "inside" to send out an unfinished product? "

Well, he did say he used to be a Microsoft exec!

Sorry, I couldn't help myself! :-)


Wow...remind me not to tick you off, Peter!

I got a similar mail from John and I was not offended. People send me odd requests all the time. I don't let them get me angry. I'm sure that John appreciates the feedback on his approach but really went to town there! Everybody take a deep breath.

(And before you ask, no, I don't know John from Microsoft...he contacted me as a blogger in the marketing space as well)

Heather Hamilton | Senior Marketing Recruiter
Microsoft Corporation | 425.706.2312
[email protected] |

Trevor Cook

I got one too, but i wasn't offended by it. But I do agree with three points in particular: 1) I hate the 'love your blog' opening line 2) I'd prefer a ten page summary 3) Yes please links not attachments. Otherwise I think sending out emails and asking people to have a look at something is OK

B.L. Ochman

I got that email too and think it is a great reason to bring back tarring and feathering.

Pretty damn clueless to send out an unsolicited attachment.

John Zagula

I'm sorry. I apologize if I offended or annoyed anyone. Thank you for your feedback.


There's a silver lining. If I'm an example, this fracas has sent more people over here.

Whether that was just to rubberneck the carnage or not, who cares? John got me over here and I found some other interesting content. Gotta believe I'm not the only one.

Yvonne DiVita

Peter, Peter, Peter,
Your points are valid all the way are entitled to feel annoyed (especially since he got your blog wrong), but kindness is a better approach than acrimony. That said, I admit that I admire folks who have enough self-confidence to be so frank. After all, you have done this man -- and many of us -- a favor. He can pitch me if he likes. I won't open his attachment, either, that was a bit 'dumb', but I understand his eagerness and his excitement. Until further notice, I will give him the benefit of the doubt and assume he wasn't paying much attention in those marketing classes. Else, he would have been more professional in his pitch, much shorter, and not asked you to read an attachment. No doubt you've taught him a good lesson. I think you might have done it less publicly. It's that old softie in me saying everyone deserves to screw up once.


Hehe, nice one bro, spot on (although, you also managed to get his name wrong ;) it aint Jim).

What's so funny is that he had the right idea, engaging bloggers, but no clue as to the execution.

I hasten to add, that email is a private conversation in a world (sorry, cant bring myself to use the ...sphere word) in which we engage in extremely public conversations.

He would have been far better, following the guideines you mentioned above, leaving a comment on your site (on a relevant post), the upside is that I may have clicked on his link, read his preview, and reviewed it too.

Basically, John's a bit of a clueless twat.

Oh well.

Sorry for him...!

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